Royal Wahingdoh has informed the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that the club will no longer participate in the I-League from 2015/16 season onwards, as per the reports on Goal. The Shillong-based club have decided to pull out of the country’s top-flight on Wednesday after plying their trade in the competition last term.
It has been understood that the Royals were granted a national license in the last week of October by the Club Licensing Committee to compete in the upcoming campaign of the I-League. However, Wahingdoh opted to pull of the competition and there are now the third club to pull out after Pune-based clubs Pune FC and Bharat FC.
Under the guidance of Santosh Kashyap, the north-eastern outfit broke into the scene by being crowned the champions of the country’s second-tier after defeating Bhawnipore FC in the last match of the league. The following year, they made their first appearance in the competition and it turned out to be a fairytale campaign for Kashyap and his army, who ended up finishing third in the league table with 30 points, ahead of the well-established clubs like East Bengal, Dempo, Sporting Clube de Goa and cross-town rivals Shillong Lajong.
Certain players from the squad earned recognition in the country and emerged as stars of the campaign, including Jakichand Singh who attracted the interests from Indian Super League Franchise Pune City FC during the auction.
It has been informed from the sources within the AIFF that the Royals have cited a lack of a clear roadmap for the competition as the primary reason to pull out. Another reason being the investment made by a club to play in the I-League doesn’t justify the hype around it. However, the club owner, Dominic Sutnga Tariang has informed that they will continue to participate in the domestic tournaments, unlike Pune FC and Bharat FC
“Yes, they have notified the AIFF of their decision to not participate in the I-League,” informed an AIFF source.
This is a huge setback for the country’s top division and it will now constitute of nine teams in the upcoming season – Bengaluru FC, Mumbai FC, Aizawl FC, Shillong Lajong. Sporting Club de Goa, Salgaocar FC, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. The 2015/16 campaign will welcome DSK-Shivajians, who will be making their debut appearance in the league.
The club’s general manager, Nicholas Jyrwa, chose not to comment on the decision but neither did he deny the development.Published 21 Nov 2015, 13:14 IST